The Harlem Renaissance By Langston Hughes Essay

825 Words Feb 5th, 2015 4 Pages
The Harlem Renaissance depicted a time in the United States of celebration of the African American culture. Of these voices, black artist Langston Hughes emerged as a poet who found his name in history, not only for his African American works but his raw interpretation of the culture. Only at the age of 21-years old, Langston Hughes produced “Mother to Son” to represent the familial relationship in a black household. Hughes incorporates deep contrasts in the subject’s life through literary comparisons with descriptive language while connecting the whole story with a distinct form of language structure.
Hughes has the mother in the poem express her wishes for her son through a single metaphor: a staircase. The second line introduces the “crystal stair.” This establishes the idea of a crystal, a material that is smooth, clear, and beautiful. In that same line, the mother tells that her life has not been crystal-like. To emphasize the comparison, the following five lines lists what her life has been instead – with “tacks” (3), “splinters” (4), “boards torn up” (5), and “no carpet” (6), tactical imagery. The seventh line has one word, “bare,” that summarizes the type of stair she has been climbing or even the state of her body after climbing the stairs. The reader can infer that the physical structure of the stair would damage her body when she climbs it. This is indicative of her constant physical, mental, or emotional struggle through life. Lines two through seven establish…

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